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The Storm Has Past, Now What??

Credits: William Bazeley

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With Hurricane Matthew past us, I was thinking about the post event clean up that is already under way as hundreds of thousands of homeowners look at the damage and wait for power to be restored.  With estimated losses over between $4 billion to $6 billion (according to Corelogic) homeowners need to be ready to deal with the next steps.

After every storm you can count on a few things to happen that will frustrate homeowners as they work to get the damage addressed:

  • Door knocking contractors will inundate homeowners with promises of a “free” roof or other work
  • Out of state and other NON local contractors will flood the area looking to take advantage of the opportunity
  • Some contractors will try to get you to sign an Assignment of Benefit (AOB) agreement that has caused several issues for homeowners throughout Florida
  • Some contractors will use the event to try to justify inflated costs that are not representative of the true market
  • Some contractors will demand money up front and not follow up on the work
  • Some homeowners will be left with subpar work with no warranty recourse

So what can you do to avoid issues and ensure you are working with a trusted local contractor?

  • Call your carrier or agent immediately if you believe you have damage covered by your policy.
  • Be cautious about signing any agreements that gives a contractor the rights to all the claim proceeds of the claim and to act on your behalf.
  • Get multiple bids for the work.  This is my chance to promote RoofMarketplace.com that gets you roof replacement bids online from local roofers in less than 48 hours.  Take advantage of these resources
  • Demand contractors provide you with license information (Click to Verify), insurance documentation, and reviews from other clients.  Ask for proof of local work.
  • Ensure that the roof will be replaced or repaired to code.  Florida has some very stringent code regulations due to hurricanes and other events
  • Understand the warranties associated with the work.  You definitely get what you pay for.  We partnered with GAF because of the GAF Golden Pledge warranty that is backed 100% by GAF.
  • Be patient.  Crews will be very busy and resources stretched.  Make sure that damage is mitigated (holes covered) and work with your carrier and contractor to get the work completed as soon as possible.
  • Most importantly remember if it sounds too good to be true it most likely is.  It is illegal to waive deductibles and for contractors to “help” you get them paid for.  Do not let someone sell you something that is not legally deliverable.

This event will take sometime to clean up and unfortunately we will see the best and worst of people.  Your home is most likely one of your biggest asset so make sure you fully understand who you are working with and all the variables before signing any agreements.  Working with the right contractor will help you sleep soundly knowing the work is completed and backed by a reputable company.